"It is true, and thus the question of whether it is sad or happy has no meaning whatever."
Bernhard Schlink

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Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Impacts of Impacts 

(American) Football players are rather famously not the brightest lights on the tree. A survey of retired NFL players reveals that they may get even less sharp as the years go on: subjects showed an elevated incidence of dementias, correlated with a higher incidence of concussions.

On the surface, this seems like a no-brainer result: trauma leads to amyloid plaque formation, and plaques are associated with dementias; everyone knows getting hit in the head a lot makes you dumber. The thing is, nothing's ever that simple. These data, while convincing, are retrospective and - more challengingly - recall-based. The results are dependent on reliable memory from people with dementia. So a replication is in order.

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